Key Characters: Jesus.
The Benevolence: “Call the labourers and them their wages.”
The vineyard owner was faithful. When evening came, He sent for them to pay their wages per person. He instructed that the salaries should be paid according to how late each group entered the day’s job. The last of them all, who must have considered their hire a sheer show of Mercy, would have come with a heart of gratitude for any penny obtainable. But, alas, they got a shock! They earned 1 denarius per hour. The ones sent in in the 3rd hour gained 0.11 denarius for an hour, and those in the 6th hour had 0.17 denarius per hour. The last labourers earned about 488% more than the closest earners and 1100% more than the bargaining counterparts. Hence, their cry.
Even though the late-arrival parties did not negotiate, the Landlord will not encourage the use of unjust measures. Instead, he gave them more than they worked for. He knows well what we deserve. But has not decided to deal with us so, but in Mercy, always at working out our good. Jesus will not cheat anyone. But in case you possess excellent negotiation skills, you need no seer to reassure you, going by biblical examples, that none sacrifices as much as time, belongings and efforts for the Master’s cause that shall lose their rewards here and beyond.
He owns the cattle upon a thousand hills. That is, the desire of men that would exhaust the resources of God has not entered man’s heart. So also, countless flowery plant species are wasting in unknown terrains of the world, whose maker God is. These grasses and flowers require more beautification time than it took God to decorate king Solomon.
He has it all; why should we bargain? He is accountable for all and to all; why should we negotiate? Nothing! Absolutely nothing misses His record: if He knows our erring, shall he not be just to record our impressive acts? All men shall give an account of what they did in the flesh. Shall He, not like a good Master of His servants, reward every good act?
God is good and kind, but all who enter a work-pay relationship with Him will be short-changed. They will get all they bargained for but, in the end, find it inadequate. What a man sows, that He shall surely reap. You plant a formal relationship with God, and you reap a strict measure of reward, unmixed with the Mercy of an extra. Since the extra which should have come to you as a work of Mercy is missing, you will find no avenue before God for gratitude other than blames and grumbling.
“Whoever has, to him, more shall be given, more shall be given” is false in their case because it was not a Master-bondservant but a Work-pay relationship. The early risers had more work hours, but more reward was given to Him who had the least work hours. Have you found God unjust in His dealings with you relative to others lately or in the past? Check your rules of engagement. You are likely to have set a standard by yourself for God and yourself.
In contrast, the others you compare yourself to might have simply accepted God’s standard. You then pry into their affairs because you have probably fixated yourself as the best for God or in God’s hand. Perhaps you met God early or committed yourself to God early in life.
Have you been a judge of others who estimate yourself better than others for the benefit of early access to God? You have a lot to lose, if yes, dear. Nothing, no man who God has invited into His vineyard has anything substantial they contribute than choice or will. Every other thing needed for labour, such as life, health, energy, inspiration, endurance, vigour, grace, and breath, was all supplied by God. What, then, should we be rewarded for that should warrant a standing and enforceable bargain?
O dear friend, what point am I projecting here? It is that the kindness of God reaches farther than we could bargain for. If, perchance, we bargain, we invoke the just nature of God. This ensures that we do not get more than we deserve or bargained for. And when we would have gotten all we negotiated, we shall discover that latecomers who found it a privilege to be called upon to work at almost closing hour, sparing no minute to negotiate, will have greater reward relative to the energy exhausted.
Bank on the kindness and promises of God to cast your life into His labour; in the end, you shall find Him to be more than enough. God supplies according to His riches in Christ Jesus. This is boundlessly more than Xerxes; the Pagan king who “gave gifts worthy of the king’s bounty” in Esther’s banquet, see Esther 2:18. Every bargain with God bars the extent to which He could stretch his hand of provision to our gains. O that, that limitless hand in which all things hold together be the one to fend for my needs! O that the heart of Him who envisages my need, is it that informs His hand to carter for me! A bargaining heart is presumably an ungrateful heart.
His hand is mighty: it can disperse and gather. His heart is enormous: it can preconceive and harbour. He knows all needs and can meet each at a different point in time and of different people for various reasons. How foolish is it thou brain of mine to negotiate thine affairs with thine maker! Things we often negotiate, He gives freely to the unbelievers, bereft of any eternal reward. “He shines His sun on both the good and the evil,” asserted Jesus. Be like your Father, cast your strength into His labour for pleasant and painful times, asking nothing in return. I am as affected as you in this charge. “May we give to God what is God’s” and not bargain with God for what is His. His benevolence will forever outlast our bargain! And His promises are an unswerving anchor!